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Gyeonggi govenor`s political coalition

Posted October. 29, 2014 05:43,   


Former Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo of the ruling Saenuri Party filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court on the last day of his service on June 30 to confirm the invalidity of the provincial council’s decision on the ordinance on living wages four days earlier. The ordinance proposed by the council members of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy says that the governor can provide living wages to employees who are not subject to the Public Officials Remuneration Regulations. Living wages are wages that can support one’s family and help one maintain one’s dignity (around 130-150 percent of the minimum wage). It was the end of the tug of war between the governor and the provincial council that lasted for four years.

Incumbent Gyeonggi Governor Nam Kyung-pil, who was elected in the June 4 local elections, decided to drop the suit filed by his predecessor and included the living wage ordinance to the ruling and opposition party "policy agreement for a coalition politics" in Gyeonggi Province announced on Aug. 5. It is because he cannot proceed smoothly without the cooperation from the provincial council whose majority seats are taken by the opposition party (the opposition NPAD 78 seats and the ruling Saenuri Party 50 seats).

The NPAD members of the Gyeonggi Provincial Council decided to send a “social integration deputy governor” as proposed by Governor Nam. A social integration deputy governor is a key point of Nam’s election pledge on a coalition in the province and serves as a governor of state affairs. For the first time in Korea, a governor and a deputy governor from different parties will govern one province. Governor Nam who is a five-time lawmaker and once dreamed of a parliamentary system in the party primary before the local elections has made the grand coalition, which can be possible in the parliamentary system, successful in Gyeonggi Province.

In February, Rep. Hwang Woo-yeo, the then leader of the Saenuri Party and current education minister, proposed a grand coalition to the opposition party to organize a bipartisan strategic body but it was not well received. If the coalition in Gyeonggi Province can generate a politics of co-existence, instead of a politics of conflicts, it can be a good example to central politics. But if Governor Nam wants to use it as a stepping stone for the presidential election or a minister in a parliamentary system, his experiment will be thought as a political gimmick.